Emergency: Call 911
Non-emergency dispatch: (440) 238-7373
Police offices: (440) 580-3230
News and Updates
Police Arrest Suspect in South-End Burglaries
A 24-year-old Princeton Circle man is facing charges in connection with two home break-ins in February.
Greg Kachmarik, 24, 17890 Princeton Circle, has been indicted on charges of attempted burglary and possession of criminal tools in relation to an attempted break-in on Whispering Pines Feb. 15, and with receiving stolen property in connection with a burglary on Ellsworth Drive Feb. 16.
Police are also looking at a possible connection to two other burglaries in the area, Detective Lt. John Janowski said – one on Princeton Circle Feb. 11 and one on Westminster Drive Feb 17.
Janowski said police were able to trace Kachmarik through stolen items he allegedly pawned at an area shop. A witness in the attempted break-in was also able to identify him, he said.
Police Nab Thief in the Act of Breaking into Vehicles
Some good legwork on the part of two Strongsville police officers led to the arrest of a man believed to have broken into at least 10 vehicles in the Hunting Meadows neighborhood.
A resident on South Meadows Circle called police about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 28 to report a man had walked up his driveway.
Two officers parked on Lanier Avenue and walked through yards, eventually spotting a pickup truck on Hunting Meadows Drive with its interior light on and someone inside. They approached the vehicle to find the suspect trying to remove the stereo, Detective Lt. John Janowski said.
Daniel Vilamaa, 20, of 17036 Hunting Meadows Drive, was taken into custody. Police found in his possession two iPods, a Hungarian $1,000 bill, prescription medication, a folding knife, a small amount of marijuana and a pipe, Janowski said.
Later that day, police executed a search warrant at Vilamaa’s home and found a gun that had been reported stolen from a car on Feb. 23, as well as a laptop computer and other items.
He has been charged with a felony for having the stolen gun, as well as eight misdemeanors – receiving stolen property, trespassing, theft from a yard, criminal damaging, possession of criminal tools, a weapons violation (for the knife), and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Janowski said police recovered several car stereos that have not yet been reported stolen. Anyone missing a car stereo can call police at (440) 580-3230.
Be Aware of the 'Computer Virus' Scam
A Strongsville resident may have recently become a victim of a scam in which a caller offers to "fix" your computer over the phone.
Here's how it works: A caller claims to be from Microsoft or a similar company and says you have a virus on your computer.
He asks you to turn on the computer and walks you through steps to fix it.
"You're actually giving someone access to your computer," Detective Lt. John Janowski said.
The hacker looks for information like passwords and bank account numbers on the hard drive. Even worse, he can install a program that steals new information as you enter it.
If you get a call like that, decline the fix and hang up, no matter how sincere or knowledgeable the caller sounds, Janowski said.
"Don't let anyone have access to your computer," he said.
Police Seek Residents' Help in Tracking Down Burglar
Strongsville Police are asking residents to be on the lookout for a man believed to be responsible for three home break-ins and one attempted burglary in the south part of town since Feb. 11.
The burglaries are taking place during the day. Police say the suspect parks his car, then walks through back yards and breaks in through a rear window.
“We’re asking people to be vigilant,” Deputy Chief Mark Fender said. “Look out your back window, look around when you’re driving in your neighborhood, and if you see a vehicle that doesn’t look like it belongs, call the police.”
To report a suspicious person, call (440) 238-7373.
Police Warn of Overpayment Scam
A Strongsville man sold some chairs on Craigslist.com last month, but got a surprise when the buyer sent the check. Instead of the $400 asking price, the check was for $2,500.
The buyer said it was a mistake and asked the resident to send back the extra money right away.
Good thing he didn’t: It was a scam. In this all-too-common con, a trusting person quickly returns the money – then finds out a few days later the buyer’s check was fraudulent.
“Never send any money from your own account,” Detective Lt. John Janowski warns residents. “Nobody sends that much extra money by mistake.”
IRS Fraud is On the Rise
Last week alone, two Strongsville residents got bad news from the IRS when they sent in their tax returns -- someone else had already filed a return using their Social Security number.
It's a growing problem, the IRS reports. In fiscal year 2013, the IRS initiated 1,492 identity theft-related investigations, an increase of 66 percent over 2012.
On the positive side, indictments and convictions doubled, with the average defendant sentenced to 38 months in prison.
If you believe your identity has been used fraudulently with the IRS, contact the agency to fill out a Form 14039.
Alert employees of Republic Waste Services called police Feb. 5 after noticing that an elderly customer on their route failed to leave her trash cans at the curb.
The workers said the woman never misses putting out her trash and were concerned about her well-being.
Police were able to reach the woman -- and happily, she was fine.